Tag Archives: Jane O’Meara Sanders

What’s with all the secrecy, Bernie?

Two recent stories on VTDigger raise further questions about a subject that ought to concern every open-minded Vermont liberal: Why is Bernie Sanders so secretive — and so defensive — about his personal finances?

The latest article explains how Sanders skated around federal disclosure requirements for presidential candidates. Federal law mandated disclosure by mid-May, but Sanders’ attorney requested a 45-day extension. When that was running out, he asked for another.

By the time the second extension was on fumes, Sanders had formally ended his presidential bid. No longer a candidate, no longer required to disclose.

The Sanders campaign requested the delays because Bernie was so busy, what with being a presidential candidate and a Senator and all. But four things about that:

— All the other candidates were also busy running for president, and presumably managed to file.

— Bernie wasn’t exactly spending much time on his Senatorial duties, what with skipping virtually every Senate vote from January to July.

— He had a fully-staffed, big-ass campaign operation. Surely someone could have been tasked with preparing the disclosure.

— as Sanders consigliere Michael Briggs said elsewhere in the story, the disclosure “would have looked pretty much the same” as his Congressional filings in past years.

But… if it would have been “pretty much the same”, wouldn’t it have been a breeze to prepare?

Sorry, I don’t buy it.

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Why won’t Bernie talk about his finances?

Big story on VTDigger a few days ago, detailing the weird secrecy around much of Bernie Sanders’ campaign spending.

The campaign funneled a cool $82 million through an obscure media-buying firm located in a suburban DC house. Old Towne Media LLC did the media buys for Sanders — despite having no track record to speak of. $82 million is roughly 40 percent of Bernie’s total campaign expenditures.

The ad agency, established in 2014, has almost exclusively served the Sanders campaign, and the company keeps a low profile. It has no website and no listed phone number. A full list of principals isn’t publicly available.

The principals of Old Towne are two longtime colleagues of Jane O’Meara Sanders who have worked on some of Bernie’s past re-election bids. But it’s a big leap from staffing a slam-dunk campaign in little old Vermont, to playing a crucial role in a bid for the presidency

But hey, perhaps Bernie values loyalty over experience.

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Burlington College and its ex-president

We could have seen this coming, but hope sprang eternal… until it died, poetically, in the snows of mid-May. Burlington College finally gave up the ghost after several years of trying to overcome one of the dumbest decisions ever made by a college president.

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I have to agree with Ms. Hallenbeck. For those just joining us, Jane O’Meara Sanders was president of Burlington College from 2004 to 2011. In her antepenultimate year, she engineered a massive land deal that put the college deep into hock: the college agreed to buy 33 acres of land and some buildings for $10 million from the Diocese of Vermont, which was liquidating assets to help pay the consequences of its long-suppressed pedophilia scandal.

Burlington College, with a student body of 200, had to assume millions in debt to acquire the property. But Sanders had a Big Plan. She was going to greatly expand the campus, nearly quadruple the student population, and dramatically increase fundraising.

In the depth of the Great Recession.

When liberal-arts colleges were dropping like flies.

It was a terrible idea on its face.

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